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Tulane Basketball Star Charged With Murder, Lawyer Says 'He Didn't Shoot Anyone'

Teshaun Hightower, who recently declared for the NBA draft, is one of six people accused in a fatal shooting.

By Connor Mannion
Teshaun Hightower G

A Louisiana college basketball star who recently declared for the NBA draft is now charged with a killing in Georgia — but the 20-year-old's lawyer contends the fatal shooting was self-defense.

Teshaun Hightower was arrested and booked into a Georgia county jail on Saturday in connection with the death of Devante Anthony Long, 24. Hightower is charged with murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and battery, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hightower is being held without bond, according to NBC News.

Hightower, a junior at Tulane University in New Orleans and a former University of Georgia athlete, is accused of confronting Long at a Stockbridge, Georgia apartment complex on April 8 with a group of five other people — including his brother Jeffery Hightower, who has also been arrested in the shooting. Police say Teshaun Hightower was the gunman, the AJC reports.

However, Teshaun Hightower's attorney contends brother Jeffery was the gunman — and furthermore that the shooting was in self-defense. 

"He's innocent. He didn't shoot anybody," Teshaun Hightower's attorney Averick Walker told ESPN. "It's sad that this detective sought to make him out to be a monster and he's not. When it's all said and done, it will come out in the wash that the person who did fire the gun shot the gun to protect Teshaun ... Teshaun's brother actually fired the weapon and fired in self-defense. The victim came out of the house with a gun in his hand and turned his weapon toward Teshaun to shoot him. That's why the victim was shot himself."

Tulane announced Sunday afternoon that Hightower had been dismissed from the team following his arrest, according to ESPN. He had announced earlier this month that he was entering the NBA draft.

"These people have a right to stand your ground," Walker told ESPN. "If somebody threatens you with a weapon, you have a right to stand your ground. The victim was called outside by his girlfriend, and he came out with a gun in his hand."

Five of the six suspects in the shooting are currently in custody, according to the Associated Press. The Henry County Police Department is asking anyone with further information about the shooting to contact them.

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